WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — For these families in attendance, it doesn’t get easier each year but this ceremony is a nice reminder that their loved ones will always be remembered here in Wichita Falls.
“When the bagpipes play and they’re putting the reef up at the monument, that’s really a tell-tale and emotions start getting a little bubbled up from there,” Wichita Falls Police Department Chief Manuel Borrego said.
Year after year, that’s the goal of the annual WFPD police memorial service, to ensure that no officer is forgotten.
“It’s good that they know that we’re a profession, just like the military, that we never forget. When you lay your lives in the line of duty, you’re going to be memorialized and remembered and tributes paid to you,” Borrego said.
They make sure that’s evident to the families of those seven fallen officers when they return to this ceremony, especially for those like Officer Walter Tommy Collins’ great-grandson, Jensen James.
“I really liked it,” James said.
Who was born more than 30 years after Collins’ end of watch on July 25, 1989.
“It was nice just seeing other parts of my family today,” James said.
While showing the next wave of WFPD officers, like recruit Nick Hamilton, what the entire area is all about with representatives from around Wichita County and Sheppard Air Force Base paying their respects.
“This community is really well known for being very police friendly and it just makes it seem a lot better once we graduate and become a part of this family,” Hamilton said.
A family coming together to continue honoring: Hugh Fuller, Charles Carlisle, Russell Scott, Robert Fellows, Walter Rappolee Jr, and Walter Collins.
“I’m just proud of this community, proud of our law enforcement in the area, and it’s a very solemn day and we just want to pay our respect and tributes,” Borrego said.
For more on the seven fallen officers in WFPD’s history, just click here.